Most Believe Employment-Based Health Coverage Will Continue

WASHINGTON—Even though employment-based health coverage is the primary source of health insurance coverage in the United States, long-term public confidence that employers and unions will continue to offer health coverage has fallen, according to findings by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Results from the EBRI/MGA 2011 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) show that 57 percent of individuals with employment-based coverage were extremely or very confident that their employer or union would continue to offer health coverage, although that was down from 68 percent in 2000. Most of the erosion in confidence occurred between 2000 and 2002. Other than a one-year dip to 52 percent in 2010, the percentage who were extremely or very confident in the future of the benefits has remained just below 60 percent.

 In addition, the HCS finds that individuals have a low level of confidence that they can afford to purchase health coverage on their own even if their employer or union gave them the money to do so. In 2011, 20 percent were extremely or very confident that they could afford to purchase coverage; 30 percent were somewhat confident; and 48 percent were not too or not at all confident.

 The full report is published in the November 2011 EBRI Notes, “Public Opinion on the Future of Employment-Based Health Benefits: Findings From the 2011 Health Confidence Survey,” online at

The press release is online here.

The HCS examines a broad spectrum of health care issues, including Americans’ satisfaction with health care today, their confidence in the future of the health care system and the Medicare program, and their attitudes toward health care reform.

About ebriorg
President and CEO, EBRI

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